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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Obama Adds Faith to Hope and Change

This is part of a flyer Barack Obama is using in Kentucky:
The words in the inset proclaim:
Kentucky Flyer
My faith teaches me that I can sit in church and pray all I want. But I won’t be fulfilling God’s will unless I go out and do the Lord’s work. Barack Obama.
On the rear of the flyer is a little homily about how Obama visited a local church one Sunday. That day Obama felt a beckoning of the Spirit and accepted Jesus Christ into his life.
Would we have allowed George W. Bush to get away with an act like that?

14 Responses to “Obama Adds Faith to Hope and Change”

  1. Royzoner says:

    I thought George did get away with this– why not Obama?

    jb says: OK, George paves the way yet again.

  2. blue girl says:

    But, but…but, he’s going to *change* things! See all the change?

  3. blue girl says:

    I should add: I’m extremely disappointed in the Democrats. I truly hate what I’ve learned about human nature during this primary.

    jb says: Edwards was the man . . .

  4. It’s sad, if you ask me.

    After reading Obama’s books and learning about his “spirituality” it really seems like he’s more of an agnostic, to be honest. You simply can not get elected in this country if you’re not thumping a little bible here and there, though.

    It’s a bit depressing to read all about how much respect he has for his atheist mother and how she taught him all about the world’s numerous religions, and then see this kind of “I’m with Jesus, too” nonsense.

    At any rate, it’s not like this is a deal-breaker. Clinton and McCain don’t even remotely begin to compare — and don’t get me started on their ridiculous faith sides. I’m willing to put up with a little faith talk to grab some voters in order to have Obama, an overall great leader who I believe is really what this country needs, as president.

    jb says: Everyone to his own, Travis. But when it comes to voting for someone who is making decisions about your life, I’d only consider a guy who isn’t afraid of the truth.

  5. Lee says:

    JB , so far I’ve been undecided (and as an American I get to vote in this election) but I find myself in agreement with you about the truth.

    jb says: “In a dying civilization, political prestige is the reward not of the shrewdest diagnostician, but of the man with the best bedside manner. It is the decoration conferred on mediocrity by ignorance.” Eric Ambler

  6. Lee says:

    You might like to read this piece about Obama’s money machine:

    jb says: Thanks for that, Lee. Silicon Valley, eh? Who’d have thought it?

  7. Wesley says:

    Lee, that was a great read!

  8. perspicio says:

    To my knowledge, Obama has not used his church affiliation in an immoral or distasteful way, but rather to invoke a sense of responsibility towards the poor & disenfranchised.

    Refusal to accept religion as valid on any terms amounts to a form of disenfranchisement. You can tell people bluntly, “You shouldn’t believe that crap,” but you won’t get anywhere that way. Many people have no real problem with, and indeed draw great value from, myth and symbolism. It is their means of tapping into something deeper than the stories themselves.

    If you can’t meet and communicate with people where they are, what qualifies you to lead them?

    To this I would just add two things:

    (1) If you’re smart enough to understand the irrational aspect of religion as well as recognizing its pervasiveness in society, surely you’re smart enough to understand that a politician needs to address it, and in a non-hostile way.

    So wouldn’t you rather a politician who invokes Christianity in order to further truly Christian ethics such as universal brotherhood, than one who invokes it for antithetical purposes such as, say, extermination of 1.3 billion Muslims?

    (2) If you cannot accept the validity of point (1), then I submit to you that YOUR worldview is as irrational as any religious one you care to mention, because it refuses to accept and meaningfully integrate a whole body of facts that deals with human belief and behavior. This is precisely the same dynamic as stubbornly refusing to negotiate with enemies, based on the prejudicial assumption that they could never have any views worth considering.

    So MIRRORS UP, everybody. Before accusing others, take a look at yourself.

    That’s Matthew 7:5, by the way.

    jb says: This is nonsense, though the argument has been around since the state managed to get itself relatively free from the church. If someone holds religious views, anti-religious or any other kinds of views, that is fine. That is the right of the individual. But it is a personal view, personal opinion, and can have no validity in the working of the modern state, which should rightly uphold the views and opinions of all citizens.
    The Christian right, of which you seem to be a representative, or at least a spokesperson, has never accepted this and continues to clamour for its glory days of the dark middle ages when it forced everyone to toe the line.
    Move aside, you stand in the way of freedom.

  9. perspicio says:

    Actually, I’m not religious. I would have thought a careful reading of my comments would have revealed, or at least strongly suggested, that fact.

    With all due respect, I think you missed my point entirely, and I suspect you did so on the basis that I didn’t wholly and categorically reject Obama’s appeal to “the faithful” on its face. If so, you not only missed my point, but exemplified it as well. But if I am wrong, I welcome the correction.

  10. Daniel Yohannes says:

    The blogosphere and the right have been successful in their whispering campaign about Obama’s Mulim belief’s. A disturbing percentge of the American electorate has latched on to and refuses to let go of the untruth, even after the recent flap over the comments by his UCC pastor. This ad is merely a campaign to reverse, probably ineffectually, the belief that Obama is an Osama related to a Hussein. Methinks your post is a smidge hysterical.

  11. jrs says:

    I don’t see the big deal. He hasn’t said anything problematic about the relation between religion and policy. He’s just posturing to get elected. Are you surprised that a politician postures? I guess there are some that don’t–Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, e.g. But yeah, I’d prefer the Democratic candidate posture a bit and construct a largely phony image rather than get as many votes as those guys. All that matters is what kinds of policies he’ll put in place and what kind of effect he’ll have on the world.

    jb says: Yeah, it’s the posturing and the sleight of hand. Just because the other guys do it doesn’t make it right. As you said, he isn’t selling snake oil, he’s reaching for a position of power. And how you can bring up the kinds of policies he’ll put in place when he hasn’t got any seems quite ludicrous. Yes we can isn’t a policy, it’s something like a pop song.
    Still, if you feel like you can go along with a “largely phony image,” that’s fine, go along. But I don’t feel I can and I’m gonna say so whether it’s Obama or any of the others who feel impelled to lead us.

  12. jrs says:

    There are a couple of i’s in his healthcare plan that he hasn’t dotted, but that aside, his platform is spelled out as much as politicians generally spell out platforms. Which is plenty spelled out; there’s no point of going waaaay into details when you don’t know the exact details of the Congress or economy that will form the context of your presidency. Obama isn’t substantially different on this than anyone. Read his environment or immigration or foreign policy plans in the “issues” section of his website.

    And have fun fighting for the politician who doesn’t posture. Want to take down some windmills while you’re at it?

    jb says: Another realist. I’m so glad you’re happy with your world, jrs. By the way, wasn’t Don Quixote the guy who was driven sane by his encounters with a mad world?

  13. Anaconda says:

    Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
    The text in your post seem to be running off the screen in Chrome.
    I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know.

    The design and style look great though! Hope you get the issue solved soon.

  14. john baker says:

    This doesn’t happen with my copy of Chrome. All seems to work fine .